Deputy Minister Sparks Outrage with Inciteful Remarks

MK Yair Golan. (David Cohen/Flash90)

Meretz’s Yair Golan, the deputy economy minister, sparked outrage today when he called Jewish settlers in Yehudah and Shomron “subhuman.”

Backlash was forthcoming and there were even calls for his dismissal.

“People who settle in an area that was legally evacuated — nobody should be there. When I was commander of the Yehudah and Shomron Division, I didn’t let anyone return to settle there,” Golan told the Knesset Channel, referring to the outpost of Chomesh, which was evacuated in 2005, then was partially resettled, and in recent weeks suffered Israeli-Palestinian violence.

“These aren’t people; they are subhuman, despicable people… they should not get any support and they should be removed by force from there,” Golan said.

Prime Minister Bennett tweeted a response to Golan’s remarks, which he deemed “shocking, generalizing and a borderline blood libel.”

Golan defended himself: “In my remarks, I referred to the destroyers of graves, attackers of innocents, destroyers of property… How should [one] treat such people? How should [one] call such people? It’s time to tell the truth — this is not our Judaism,” he tweeted.

Lawmakers in the right-wing and left-wing camps of the coalition, and right-wing opposition parties, were incensed by his remarks.

“After this shameful declaration, taken directly from Nazi terminology against the Jewish people, Bennett must fire Yair Golan today,” Netanyahu said.

Lapid tweeted that he “condemns all abusive discourse that drags Israeli society into polarizing and destructive extremism,” and that he “expects coalition members to set a personal example of respectful and fair discourse even toward those who think differently from us.”

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